Kyle Lowry is set to return to the Toronto Raptors after agreeing to a four-year, $48 million dollar deal. Daryl Morey of the Rockets visited him at the start of free agency and the Miami Heat were believed to be interested, but in the end, this was the conclusion most expected.
While Miami offered the allure of playing for the favorites—this, assuming LeBron returns—Lowry was hitting the open market as a marquee free agent, poised to land the first huge contract of his career (he made $5.75 million this year). This put the Raptors at an advantage from the jump. There was a fit in Toronto, but it is also rare to see a player at the stage of his career like Lowry’s actually take a discount to go elsewhere.
With this move and the acquisition of Lou Williams from the Atlanta Hawks over the weekend, Toronto now has a guard rotation that includes Lowry, Williams and DeMar DeRozan. The remaining order of business for Masai Ujiri will be to figure out whether he can bring back restricted free agent forward Patrick Patterson and guard Greivis Vasquez.
Given the signings of Avery Bradley, Jodie Meeks and Ben Gordon in recent days, you have to wonder whether those contracts have now driven up the value of Patterson and Vasquez. And if so, the Raptors may have to decide between one or the other. We know that Vasquez really wants to return but he may be the odd man out.
Regardless, the most important piece of the Raptors offseason puzzle is now back in the fold, at a price and term that seems fair for both the player and team. Now we’ll see whether Lowry can continue to carry this Raptors team deeper into the playoffs.
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